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Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Soldier Comes Home

Our little town of White Salmon was in the news last week end, and for a very good reason. A hero came home after 68 years. I don't know any of the extended family personally, but the story touched me at a deep level. You see, I'm a mother of a US Marine who served in Iraq and Kuwait, and I can relate to the fear of losing a loved one.

I have God to thank that I can't relate to the tragedy that befell this family. They lost their son 68 yrs ago during WWII and only just recovered his body.

I don't know all the details, but a search team found the soldiers remains, along with his dog tag, wallet and dozens of expended shells of ammo in a fox hole where he died defending his country. I don't know why he wasn't found and brought home at the time, but his mother never gave up hope. She's gone on now, and it was left up to his cousins and other family to welcome him home and give him a hero burial right here in our small town cemetery.

What a blessing for the family to finally have closure after decades of wondering. And what a tremendous sacrifice he, they, and thousands of other have made for our country. Let us never forget, no matter how long it takes.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Blossoms & Weeds--What's in Your Garden?


Today I've been mowing for an hour or so, then pulling weeds in my garden, planting tomato and green pepper plants, watering newly sprouted beans, peas, turnips, and more. Lots to do this time of year, but my least favorite is pulling weeds.

Why is it that no matter how much I hoe, till, and pull, the weed crop manages to outgrow the food crop? I'm even hitting them with Roundup, hoping to rid myself of them once and for all, but inevitably I miss a few.

It's a little like life. There are things I'd love to get rid of forever. My over indulgence in eating sugar, my poor exercise habits, attitudes that I'm not proud of at times--but like weeds, they seem to keep coming back.

I have two choices--keep pulling and poisoning and tilling the ground of my life, keeping them at bay, or ignore them hoping they'll not take root this time around. Doing that will lead to discovering they're full blown and taking over before I know it. Yes, it takes work to keep the weeds out of your garden or out of you life, but the crop you'll get when you do is worth it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Do You Remember When?

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older
woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today.
Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to
the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and
sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and
over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we
reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags,
was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks.
This was to ensure that public property, (the books
provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our
scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown
paper bags.

But too bad we didn't do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every
store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't
climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two
blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the
throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling
machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry
our clothes back in our early days.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters,
not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every
room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief
(remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In
the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have
electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail,
we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it,
not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then,
we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn.
We used a push mower that ran on human power.
We exercised by working so we didn't need to
go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; we didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup
or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled
writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the
razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just
because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their
bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour
taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire
bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a
computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites
23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn't it sad that the current generation laments how wasteful we old
folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?
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